Monday, July 24, 2023

Upcycled Patchwork Cat Beds That You Can Make At Home

If you have a cat, you know they love to sleep – a lot. And where do they love to sleep? Wherever they can find a cozy spot. In my house that can vary from on a hoodie that someone left on the couch to the newspaper left on a chair on on top of my daughter's backpack. So why not make them a comfortable bed of their own? 

Using Upcycled Fabric
There are so many great reasons to make your cat's bed out of upcycled fabric. Maybe you sew and you have some old fabric lying around that you don't know what to do with. Or maybe you want to incorporate that old hoodie that kitty loves to nap on into a bed for her. Maybe you have some old clothes that you want to repurpose into a cat bed. Whatever your reason, upcycling fabric into a cat bed is definitely they way to go as opposed to going out and buying new fabric to work with. If you don't have any old clothing to repurpose for your project, check out thrift stores for inexpensive options. Be sure to wash the fabric before you start.

Types of Fabric and Materials for Cat Beds
As I just mentioned, if you're looking for a cozy place for your cat to snooze, look no further than your own fabric stash! Choose fabrics that your cat will love– lightweight cottons for warm weather, or flannel and wool for cooler months. For the ambitious: maybe create one bed for summer and another for winter?

One type of upcycled fabric that works well for making a cat bed is an old sweater. As long as it is sturdy enough, an old sweater is soft and will keep your cat warm. Another type of fabric that works well is old t-shirts because they are soft and will keep your kitty comfortable.

It's also interesting to note that studies have shown that cats prefer fabrics that are soft and have a bit of give, like fleece. They also seem to enjoy smooth fabrics like satin or silk. These fabrics mimic the warmth and comfort of their mother's coat. As for durability, you certainly want to go with a fabric that will be able to last a long time.

Use Fabrics Your Cat Loves To Sleep On
A few ideas: Your old sweater or sweatshirt, an old favorite blanket, or a soft flannel shirt are all good options.

Use Washable, Easy to Care For Fabrics
Some fabrics are easier to wash than others when it comes to cat beds. Cotton is a good choice because it's easy to wash and dry. Linen is another fabric that's easy to wash, but it wrinkles easily. Microfiber is a synthetic fabric that's easy to wash and dries quickly. 

Types of Stuffing for Inside Cat Beds
For the inside of your cat's bed, you should use a soft filling that will be comfortable for your cat to sleep on. There are many different types of filling that can be used. Some popular ones include: polyester fiberfill, memory foam, and cotton batting. Each type of filling has its own benefits and drawbacks, so it is important to choose the right filling for your cat's needs. 

Polyester fiberfill is a popular choice for cat beds because it is inexpensive and easy to find. However, some cats do not like the feel of polyester fiberfill and may prefer a different type of filling. Memory foam is another popular option for cat beds. Memory foam provides support and cushioning for your cat, and it can help to alleviate joint pain. However, memory foam can be expensive and it can be difficult to find in stores. Cotton batting is a less common option for cat beds, but it can be a good choice for cats who prefer a softer bed. Cotton batting is also relatively inexpensive and easy to find.

You can even stuff your cat's bed with old clothing such as the aforementioned t-shirts or sweaters. Just be sure to remove any buttons or other hard things from sweaters before using them as stuffing. 

My Style Choice? Patchwork!
Right now I am all about patchwork! I love patchwork and quilts! Patchwork is relatively easy to make, is unique, and can be customized to match your home’s d├ęcor. And you certainly do not need to be a sewing pro to sew patchwork. You don't even need a sewing machine, you can sew patches together by hand with a needle and thread while watching tv on your couch.

Getting Started
First decide on the bed's shape. A simple rectangle or pillowcase shape works great, or you can get creative with a round bed or donut-shaped cushion. Some kitties like to hide away, so a nest-like cozy bed with higher sides might be a style your cat will love. (more on style options below)

To make patchwork, start by collecting a variety of fabric scraps in different colors and patterns. Then, lay out the fabric scraps on a flat surface and arrange them into a patchwork design. Once you're happy with the arrangement, start sewing the pieces together. When you're finished, flip the fabric inside out so the seams are hidden and stuff the bed with some old clothes or blankets.

What Size Should My Cat's Bed Be?
Make it roomy but not too big. Most commercially available cat beds are too small for the average house cat. A cat's bed should give them enough room to lay down comfortably and stretch out. Some cats like to curl up in a small space, while others like to sprawl out. A good rule of thumb is to make a bed that is at least 1.5 times the length of your cat from nose to tail.

What Style Should I Make My Cat Bed?
There are many style options for cat beds! You can make it rectangular shaped like a traditional bed (like the pillow case shape mentioned earlier), while others are more like a nest. Some cat beds have raised sides and are donut-shaped to give your cat a place to rest their head, while others are more flat. Some are warm and cozy, while others are more open and airy. Ultimately, the style of bed you choose for your cat will depend on their personality and preferences. If you have a laid-back cat, they might enjoy a simple, flat bed. On the other hand, if your cat likes to curl up and stay warm, a bed with higher sides ore more like a nest or hideout might be a better option. Choose the bed that you think your cat will be most comfortable in.

Make It Easy To Clean, Optimally, Make It Machine Washable!
You want your cat's bed to last a long time, so be sure to take care of it. You should vacuum it regularly to remove dust and dirt, and spot clean it with a mild detergent if it gets dirty. You may also need to periodically fluff it or rotate it to prevent it from getting too flat. If you're a sewing pro you can even top it off with a removable, washable cover. But ultimately if you make a bed that is simple and machine washable you won't have to worry down the line about it being difficult to clean. Simply shake it off outdoors to remove dust and hair, and then pop it into the washer and dryer.

Make It Cozy!
Finally, put kitty's bed in a cozy spot in your home, in a warm spot that you notice that they like to nap in, or close to a window or in a sunny spot.

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Have a great week!

Article and images copyright ©Laura Beth Love 2023 and may not be republished in print or other media without express written permission from the author.